Family Farm Party 3-9yr - Hayride & Cookout
Denise in Jonesboro, Georgia USA
April 2001 Winner
My husband and son have their birthdays just 1 week apart and this year we were going to be on vacation visiting my in-laws that own a farm. My mother-in-law invited kids from neighboring farms, family and kids from church. We had about 18 kids ranging in age from 3 to 9 and my son was turning 3. I knew I was going to have to be creative to make it special from my son and also for those kids that were between 7 and 9 years old and we also wanted to have my husband a cake too so.
The kids arrived around 3 in the afternoon which meant the younger ones were just waking up from their nap and were well rested. As the older children arrived we gave them a straw farmer's hat and asked them to help make the little ones into animals. I had gotten noses from Party city and we used construction paper to make headbands and attached ears for animals like horses, dogs, cats, cows and pigs. For the ducks and chickens we put feathers in the headbands. They were very simple to make and you didn't need an artist to do it. The older ones then went and hid stuffed farm animals, that I had gotten from oriental.com, in the front and back yard and then helped the little ones round up all the lost animals.
My mother-in-law drew a cow on posterboard and we used rope with a ribbon tied on the end as tails. We wrote the child's name on the ribbon and played pin the tail on the cow. Instead of a traditional piñata, we thought the differences in age would cause a problem, we decided on a hay hunt. We spread out a tarp and had hay separated on it. We hid about 200 wooden nickels(oriental.com) in the hay and the kids rolled through the hay finding as many as they could. I had treat bags already made up out off white trash bags that I had cut up and drew spots on to resemble a cow pattern. I put prepackaged goldfish, pretzels, and animal crackers in the bags. All bags were the same put I let the one that got the fewest nickels go first and so on.
We lifted up the tarp and put it in the bottom of the trailer and went on a hayride. This is where we got creative. The hayride was scheduled at 5 pm so we invited all of my husbands old friends and family friends over for the hayride. There was over 100 people on the farm at 5 and we just took turns taking the hay ride.
Everyone then stayed for a cook-out. The adults had there tables set up with hotdogs and hamburgers, chips, baked beans, potato salad and tea. The kids table was set up with pig in the blanket. Delivered eggs that resembled chickens(recipe to follow), lemonade, and "chicken feed"(I bought mini tin buckets from oriental.com and glued a little chenille chick on the handle. We filled it with popcorn, candy corn and shelled sunflower seeds mixed together). The eggs were cut as a jig-jagged pattern through the middle instead of a straight cut. You take out the yolk and make the eggs as you would normally do except only put filling in the bottom one, pile it up a little and put the other part on top. Then take two small pieces of red pimentos and put them on the yellow filling to resemble eyes. We used red and white checkered tablecloths, yellow cutlery, red plates and cups and just had the farm pattern on the napkins. Everyone sat on hay bales or folded chairs and the only decorations we put up was the rope that ran through the yard, just above head height with balloons tied to it. We used over 100 balloons but no streamers.
On the hayrides the adults led the kids in Old Macdonald and Farm on the Dell. We had horseshoes set up in the back and a couple of 4 wheelers for the adults. It was the most fun we have ever had and it didn't really cost that much. As the children from the party left they picked bandanna's that I had hanging to the rope with the balloons, They had a tractor or horse trailer, a kazoo, and plastic farm animals in it. So the kids went away with their nose or hat, the pail that their "chicken feed" was in, the goody bag from the hay hunt, their animal that they found early and the bandanna sack that they opened up and put everything in. Of note is we had ideas set aside in case it rained. We were going to hide the animals inside. Have the food set up inside and the hay set up in the carport for the hay find.
The pin the tail on the cow would have easily moved inside. I had a movie already bought about farm animals that I got from Amazon and had purchased a big book, it was about 2' by 1' that I had gotten from Costco, titled of course Old Macdonald had a farm. We would have played animal bingo. I had made bingo cards from card stock and separated it into 9 spaces. Each space had a different animal sticker in it. Each child would have been able to make an animal sound and as a sound was made you would cover up the space with that animal in it with one of your wooden nickels. I also forgot the cake was one that my mother-in-law made. She bakes cakes as a side business so it was more than what I would have been able to do. If I would have done this party at my house I would have just cut a sheet cake into a barn shape and decorated it with icing and used crackers as doors and put animal crackers down for animals and made a pin out of straight pretzel sticks. We bought prepackaged thank you notes and put a picture on the hayride in it. Also my in-laws did the invitations. They made barns out of cardstock and wrote the info inside the barn doors.
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